Chevron Corp posted a rise in quarterly profit on Friday as its refining arm managed to improve earnings despite the crippling of the company's oldest refinery last August by a fire.

The second-largest U.S. oil producer said fourth-quarter net income rose to $7.2 billion, or $3.70 per share, from $5.1 billion, or $2.58 per share, a year earlier.

The latest results included a gain of $1.4 billion from an asset exchange. Including that gain, earnings in the oil and gas production business rose 20 percent to $6.9 billion, and refining operations posted a profit of $925 million, compared with a loss of $61 million a year before.

(Reporting by Braden Reddall in San Francisco)